About SJSU Industrial Design
The internationally-recognized and award–winning Industrial Design Program at SJSU
provides an education infused with the ideas, methods and expertise of the leading–edge
design industry in Silicon Valley. Our curriculum is supported by a rigorous university–level
general education, and it meets the demands of national and international expectations
in the field. The diversity of our students makes us a unique program that represents
the future of the field.
The program, established over thirty years ago, is open to all interested students
and enrolls a wide variety of entrants, from recent high school graduates to junior
college transfer students. The curriculum provides our students with a balance of
theory, skill, and practice. Regular Portfolio Reviews guide our students through
each stage of their education and ensure that they emerge ready to be leaders in the
We have both full–time and part–time faculty, so the program is well structured with
continuity of learning from year–to–year, and has injections of specialist, up–to–the
minute knowledge. Taking advantage of the program’s University setting, Industrial
Design courses often collaborate with SJSU’s Anthropology, Business, and Engineering
programs, and with foreign universities. Our students participate in a strong international
exchange program with partners in Europe and Central America.
What can students expect?
Our students receive a solid education in visual communication using sketching and
digital techniques. They also learn strategic thinking, design history and theory,
user–centered design, sustainability, model–making, materials and manufacturing, and
innovation in technology. Understanding of professional practice is achieved through
a required internship. Upon graduation, students are prepared for a lifetime of practicing
design, or continuing their education in a Master’s program.
Over the last three decades SJSU graduates have contributed to the development of
the Bay Area as a major international center of Industrial Design, influencing trends
and the daily lives of millions. Our graduates work at corporations and consulting
firms regionally and nationally, and many have gone on to start successful businesses
of their own. A list of alumni would include: Robert Brunner (former Industrial Design Director at Apple, and Co-founder of Ammunition), Gerard Furbershaw (Co-founder of LUNAR), Jim Gentes (Founder of Giro), Gavin Ivester (Former Senior VP & General Manager of International Footwear at Nike, and Chief Creative Officer for Gibson Guitar), Shiz Kobara (Former Manager of Global Industrial Design at Hewlett Packard), Mike Lowe (Design Director at Giro), Joshua Morenstein (Co-founder of Branch Creative and formerly of fuseproject and frog design), Dave Schenone (Innovation Director for Global Footwear, Nike), Kyle Swen (Co-Founder of Astro Studios), Sohrab Vossoughi (Founder of Ziba) and many more.
The program has achieved a strong reputation through national and international design
competition awards such as the IDSA IDEA, Red Dot, Braun, BDI, and the International
Note: The Industrial Design Program admits every student as a BA Design Studies Major.
Admission to the BS Industrial Design is by portfolio review only—after the completion of two to three semesters of coursework at SJSU.